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BC Raised: Luke Ashton

Presented by Chevrolet


Photo credit: Liz Wolter

Story by Matt Lawson

Luke Ashton, defenceman for the Langley Rivermen, currently sits in a tie for fifth in scoring among BCHL defenders with 27 points in 39 games.

The towering 6-foot-6 North Vancouver native is also ranked as the 138th North American skater by NHL Central Scouting ahead of the 2024 draft.

Prior to making the jump to the BCHL, Ashton spent three seasons with the Burnaby Winter Club and says it was instrumental in his development.

“It was such a special place for me to begin my hockey journey,” he said. “My family and I were surrounded by really good people that had the same passion for hockey. I played with amazing teammates and made so many memories. I learned at a young age about discipline, hard work and the value of being a good teammate and a good person.”

In the 2021-22 season, Ashton laced up for the Vernon Vipers for his first taste of junior hockey. He went on to play 81 regular season games across two seasons for the Vipers.

“It was my first junior hockey experience and there were a lot of different lessons that I learned,” he said. “I matured as a player and a person. Moving away at 16 is not easy for anyone and juggling hockey, school and life really teaches you independence quickly.”

This past offseason, Ashton was dealt to the Langley Rivermen, which meant he was heading back home to the Lower Mainland.

“I have the ability to live at home which is super nice,” he said. “My parents are able to come to every game, which is very exciting for them and great for me too. Being back home also allows me to spend more time with my younger brother and support him with his hockey journey.”

Ashton has found a new level to his game in Langley. He has already tripled his two-year point total with the Vipers in just 39 games this season. He attributes his improved play to opportunities given.

“After being traded, I met with the Rivermen coaches and staff and they showed me the new program they were building, where I’d fit into it and the type of player they saw me being,” Ashton said. “I loved the organization’s positivity and passion right away and was ecstatic for a new opportunity. I knew there were sides of my game that I had not yet been able to showcase. The Rivermen coaching staff provided me the freedom and opportunity to become the player I have always known I could be. I am so grateful for their belief in me.”

Adding to his list of personal successes this season, Ashton played in the BCHL’s Top Prospects Game in Penticton and said he was honoured to be a part of it.

“It was really fun,” he said. “You’re playing with the top players in the league, which is a pretty amazing opportunity. Being able to meet the guys who you play against all the time, hear their perspective on games and build new friendships was awesome. I’ve never been a part of anything like that before.”

As previously mentioned, Ashton has earned a spot on the NHL Central Scouting draft rankings and, according to him, he is using it as fuel moving forward.

“It’s super nice to get noticed and I’m proud of it, but I also know that it is just another number and I still have a lot more growth as a player and a person,” Ashton said. “As exciting as it is, I know I have a long way to go so this makes me even more determined to push myself and grind every day.”

Another milestone for Ashton this year was his commitment to play Division I college hockey at Minnesota State University, a school that has enjoyed a significant amount of success in recent years.

Committing to an NCAA school was a big accomplishment for him and it is something that he is thrilled about.

“The facilities and community support are unbelievable there,” he said. “When I visited MSU, I was blown away by the staff’s work ethic and level of detail. The coaches share a long history together and I believe that chemistry will translate to the players on and off the ice. It was very important to me to find a place that understood the type of player I am and shared the same vision for the type of player I want to become.”

The Rivermen sit eighth in the Coastal Conference, currently holding down the final playoff spot and trying to hold off the Powell River Kings who are just four points back. That is especially notable because the Rivermen play a pair of games in Powell River this weekend.

Ashton is excited to see what his team can do down the stretch of the season with their playoff push.

“There’s a lot of belief in our dressing room,” he said. “We haven’t always gotten the results we want, but we trust in our process and in each other. We have a group of guys that are hardworking and dedicated and that’s something that is very motivating.”